On Father's Day, I thank God for women preachers, for around 1939-40, my father was saved as the result of a young woman—Mary Jeffries—stepping out in faith and preaching an extended "revival" meeting under a brush arbor in Northeast Texas.
Hundreds of people turned out and many gave their lives to the Lord. My Dad, who was in his 20s, was one of them.
He was standing outside the arbor leaning against a pickup with other men, some who had brought their wives. As the invitation was being given, my Dad felt the convicting, drawing power of the Holy Spirit to go forward and kneel at the altar bench they had set up. He wasn't sure, however, if God would save him, for he had been a "bad" person.
His mother died when he was 11, and he quit school after the fourth grade. He was such a bad kid that his father kicked him out of the house when he was 13. At 16, he was sent to prison.
One thing my Dad had going for him was an old aunt that knew how to "pray through." The whole countryside could hear Aunt Mamie when she would go to their barn and pray. She had invited my Dad to this revival, and he went but did not go under the arbor.
Uncle Henry was standing next to him, and although he had not yet made a full commitment, he had been around Aunt Mamie long enough to recognize the work of the Holy Spirit. He looked at my Dad and said, "Son, you may as well go on down there; they are after you."
My Dad went forward, and when he knelt down it seemed that everything around him, including time, disappeared. The next thing he knew, he was on his feet clapping his hands and shouting, "He did! He did! He did!"
My father went on to live a long full life and pastored for almost 40 years in the Assemblies of God and was, of course, always supportive of women preachers, pastors and evangelists.
That is why on Father's Day I am also thankful for women preachers.
Dr. Eddie Hyatt is the author of 1726: The Year that Defined America, a book that documents how the Great Awakening had a direct bearing on both the founding of America and the ending of slavery on this continent. This and other volumes he has written are available form Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.
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